I used to be addicted to paper scrapbooking. I would joke with the owner of my favorite scrapbook store that I should have my paychecks automatically deposited there.
Flash forward to 3 years ago. I lived 30 miles from everywhere and now had 3 boys under the age of 2. I desperately wanted to document the photos of stories of my children’s lives. But I couldn’t afford my paper scrapbooking addiction anymore, and I no longer had the time to invest in my beloved hobby.
Many fantastic photo services were now offering the ability to create photo books, but they just didn’t have all of the custom design options I was used to using in paper scrapbooking.
That’s when a friend introduced me to digital scrapbooking. It has not only saved me a ton of money. I’ve saved time, too.
Here are the perks to using your computer to create scrapbook layouts:
You can find oodles of digital scrapbook supplies for free or really cheap. Or if you’re really creative, you can create your own.
You can reuse your digital supplies. Once you use a piece of scrapbook paper to create a layout, you’re done with it. With digital papers, you can reuse them as many times as you would like. You can even play with the colors using photo editing software to completely change the look of paper or an embellishment.
I never run out of adhesive… because I don’t need it!
I don’t need any expensive tools to craft the look I want. Just my computer.
I don’t spend money on printing out individual photos. Since the digital photos are placed directly on my layout, I don’t have to spend the time uploading them and printing them.
Clean-up is a breeze. All of my items are stored on my computer. If I’m interrupted during a scrapbook session, I can just close up my laptop and come back to it later. I also don’t have to worry about my kids getting into my paper stash or using my scissors on the dog.
There’s an “undo” option. When you scrapbook digitally, it is easy to fix mistakes or to completely change a layout. It is a lot of fun to play with design. You can also do some amazing things with your computer that you can’t do in paper scrapping.
Sharing your scrapbooks is easy. Design it once and print and share it as many times as you like. When I did my twin sons’ baby books, I would create one design and then swap out the right baby’s photos for each book. You can send scrapbook layouts via e-mail to a relative.
Digital scrapbooking costs less. Even if you print your own pages (the most expensive option), you’ll spend about $2 to $3 a page. When you add up all the costs of paper scrapbooking items, you can easily spend $7 to $10 a page. Many photo services offer deep discounts on photo prints and photo books to help you save even more. And at least twice a year, I seem to stumble across a free photo book offer.
Of course, there are a few costs associated with digital scrapbooking. You’ll need a decent computer, some photo editing software (I recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements), and some time to learn how to create layouts.
Two Peas in a Bucket has the nitty gritty bare basics of what you need to start digital scrapbooking.
ScrapGirls has a fabulous free eBook you can download called 15 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Digital Scrapbooker.
I also highly recommend checking out Jessica Sprague’s Digital Scrapbook Quick Start which visually walks you through your very first layout.
You can create beautiful scrapbooks of memories on a budget. All you need is a little bit of time and know-how.
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About Christina Brown
Christina loves clipping coupons, pinching pennies, and chasing her three boys (a 10-year-old and twin 8-year-olds) as a stay-at-home mom.